Leisl Leighton’s keen eye for plot, coupled with her ability to identify problems and explore alternatives, were invaluable to me in the re-drafting of my debut novel, The Tides Between. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say, if I hadn’t killed a ‘darling’ early scene on her advice, the novel wouldn’t have been published.
Elizabeth Jane Corbett – award winning author of The Tides Between?
Leisl has a real feel for character, plot and voice. She can not only identify the problems in a manuscript, but most importantly, make suggestions on how to fix them. She also has great industry knowledge and networks. I unreservedly recommend her editing services.
Marnie StClair – author of No Place LikeYou, Blue Steel and Deal Breaker
I recently retained Leisl Leighton to assess my contemporary YA manuscript and found her to be incredibly professional, thorough, and constructive. She has an uncanny way of unearthing and highlighting exactly what’s needed to make your manuscript really stand out, and is an absolute master at story structure, character arcs, and finding those golden moments in the body of the work, and then showing you how to polish them until they shine. I can’t recommend her enough, and would definitely utilise her services again.
Lora Inak – author of Unspoken Rules
I worked with Leisl on my first completed regency romance manuscript. There is no doubt that she saw more in the work, and in my writing, than I did myself. She is a wonderful sounding board, and an excellent writing mentor. Not only was I a better writer after each and every piece of feedback she gave me, but I keep on improving as an author because of the workshopping and the ‘talk-throughs’.
Leisl doesn’t only understand words and writing – she understands authors. The anxieties and the panics, the confidence ‘dips’ and the fickleness of the muse. She is inspirational in her own work, and she’s able to distill all that learning into assisting her clients with both writing and readying that writing for authorship. I feel very lucky – and very grateful – to be one of her clients.
She helped with my manuscript, and my synopsis, and my live pitch at the RWA conference in 2019 as well. As a result of all her assistance, my dream of becoming a published author is actually happening. I have wanted this since I was 8 years old, so almost four decades later, this is no small thing to me. It is, in fact, my own personal Happy Ever After and I have Leisl Leighton to thank. My first novel will be released in September 2020 by Boroughs Publishing and I am so excited.
Clyve Rose – author of Always a Princess (Regency Romance author, manuscript assessment and author mentor client)
I wanted to express how much I appreciate Leisl’s time and skill. She challenges me – which is fantastic – and always offers very considered and helpful feedback. There were times today when working through Leisl’s notes on my manuscript where I thought she might have met my characters and we were having a chat over a glass of wine about our friend’s ups and downs.
I am also mindful of how worthwhile this process has been for building the ‘bible’ to approach the second novel in my series. I love my characters and want to do them justice. Thinking about them more as I work through this first novel in my romantic suspense series is helping me get to know them more deeply.
Eliza Renton – writer (manuscript assessment and author mentoring client)
Working with Leisl has been the best decision I have made thus far on my writing journey. As an aspiring writer working on my first novel, Leisl has been brilliant. Her written feedback is extensive, thoughtful, positive and encouraging while also providing essential conceptual guidance and assistance as I am learning important elements of craft.
Leisl has that rare balance of kindness and clarity essential for a successful mentor and coach. She is clearly also a very talented structural editor, providing helpful feedback as the first draft of my manuscript is progressing. She is perceptive and wise, offering invaluable comments, gentle criticism and unwavering encouragement. Our phone meetings are a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another a little better as writers and I am learning an enormous amount from her. It’s also been a very useful way to discuss and clarify her written feedback and to dig a little deeper on both the strengths and areas for reflection and further development in my work.
All in all, I’d say this is the best investment I have made in myself as a writer thus far and you definitely won’t regret it if you work with Leisl as a coach and mentor.
Kathy Munro – writer
Leisl Leighton was unphased by the fact that my manuscript was only 90% complete. She understood why I sought her expert guidance on finishing the product. Her feedback was encouraging but forthright. She identified all my pain points – where I struggled to express my ideas or where I was avoiding deep emotion. She clearly grasped the themes of my memoir and offered suggestions for enrichment and commercial success. Happy to say, my manuscript is back on track and will be finished this year!
Jodie Miller – memoirist
I’ve been fortunate enough to have Leisl review a synopsis and application letter for a writing fellowship. Her feedback was crystal clear, and logical with constructive suggestions that were easy to follow. If you’re looking for advice about how to improve your writing – ask Leisl.
Ruth Morgan – author